My first pets were Bonnie, a very protective border collie, and Picasso, a very loving Siamese cat.
My childhood would not have been the same without them, and the fact that I’m a (relatively) well-adjusted adult might have a lot to do with those two.
The same has often been said for children around the world, and the science is now emerging to back that up.
Doctor Kylie Burke from the University of Queensland is spearheading two new studies to try and understand how having a pet as a child can affect our emotional wellbeing as adults.
Burke told 10 daily that animals have proven to be great playmates and companions to children, while also teaching them early responsibility and emotional awareness.
These studies have a pretty solid grounding in other research that explores the link between animals and happiness.
In a paper, ‘The human-companion animal bond: how humans benefit’, researchers note that “pet ownership, or just being in the presence of a companion animal, is associated with health benefits, including improvements in mental, social, and physiologic health status”.
We break briefly for a fantastic photo of a happy-looking child and a less content-looking feline:
Hang in there, Mittens.
Back to Burke for more on how pets can benefit early childhood growth:
“Animals and children are put together more and more, animals tend to live inside the house more…that kind of context can mean there’s a lot of benefit that children an animals can get from one another,” she said.
The idea is that children who interact empathetically with animals will learn empathy for other people.
It makes sense if you think about it. Most of us see our pets as our fur-children – they’re part of the family.
And they do, without a doubt, bring a lot of joy into our homes and lives, so if your kid has been hassling you for a pet, it might be time to give in.
Once you’ve made that call, you can start treating your fur-children to the finer things in life, which you’ll find over at Pet Culture.
Based in Cape Town, their online retail store offers pet parents a range of quality, sophisticated apparel, beds, bowls and toys, all curated with an eye to complimenting your discernible home decor and lifestyle preferences.
It’s your one-stop-shop for accessorising your four-legged family and your fur-children will love you for it.
A few examples from their best-sellers list to jolt you into action:
Those Pet Car Seats are mightily practical, and you can say goodbye to unwanted animal bones in the bed with a Chewing Bone or two.
Then again, as many happy, child-free people will tell you, pets are worth getting whether or not you have a youngster around the house.
Long live the fur-children.
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